Gas prices have hit $4.006 per gallon in Alaska, AAA reported Wednesday. It’s the first state in the nation where the price of gas has crossed the $4 barrier. The average price of a gallon of gas in the country on May 12 was $3.722, according to the Department of Energy or $3.758 according to AAA.
Okay, these numbers get a lot of attention, but the number that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the price of diesel, the fuel that America’s shipping industry relies on. Six months ago, USA Today reported that the cost of shipping had gone up about 20 percent; at the time the article was written, the cost of diesel was $3.30 per gallon. This week, AAA says the average price of a gallon of diesel is $4.419.
In March, the owner of a nine-truck freight company in Ohio told the New York Times , “It’s killing us. Every day, I come in here and wonder if I have enough money to buy fuel.” Another trucker in Ohio, Ricardo Caraballo, told Times that the same $505 that once kept his truck on the road for two weeks now only fills half his tank.
The Times explains that the rising cost of diesel may have something to do with its increasing popularity around the world and points out that there are some money-saving solutions available to U.S. truckers (solutions that cost a lot of money, mind you). However, none of these explanations overwrites the fact that the very people who keep our country’s goods moving — often small, private companies and independent operators — cannot afford some of those expensive upgrades.
And we wonder why the price of everything is going up.